The Province has appointed Lynn Smith, QC, as B.C.’s acting members’ conflict of interest commissioner.
The position has been vacant since the passing of Paul Fraser, QC, on March 29, 2019.
The special committee for appointment of a conflict of interest commissioner needs time to recommend a candidate for permanent appointment. An acting commissioner is needed in the interim. The committee's recommendation must be supported by two-thirds of the legislative assembly while the assembly is sitting, which at the earliest will be the fall 2019 session.
Smith received a bachelor of laws degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and an honorary doctor of laws degree from Simon Fraser University. She was appointed to B.C.’s Supreme Court in 1998 and served as a Supreme Court justice until her retirement in September 2012.
Before her appointment as a judge, Smith practised law and then taught law at UBC. She was dean of the UBC’s faculty of law from 1991 to 1997. She has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Law Foundation of B.C. as chair, the Vancouver Foundation, the National Judicial Institute and the 2017 Alberta Judicial Compensation Commission.
The members’ conflict of interest commissioner is an independent officer of the legislative assembly responsible for promoting public confidence in elected public officials and providing advice to members of the legislative assembly regarding obligations under the Members’ Conflict of Interest Act.
- The commissioner holds office for a term of five years and may be reappointed for further terms.
- The Members’ Conflict of Interest Act specifies that an acting appointment will lapse after a new permanent commissioner is appointed or after 20 sitting days of the legislative assembly, whichever comes first.
- Unlike B.C.’s other statutory officers, the commissioner’s remuneration is set by the lieutenant governor in council.